Tag: hackathon


Canada Rhoks!

This June four Canadian cities are hosting Random Hacks of Kindness (RHOK) this year: Vancouver (new), Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal.

Random Hacks of Kindness is a global hackathon that occurs in over 30 cities with over 2000 participants. What if your knowledge could change the world. This event is open to everyone. You do not need to be a software developer to contribute. The best solutions created use many different areas of knowledge. You’ll be amazed how much you can share.

“RHoK’s model is to start from identifying, defining and refining problem definitions provided by subject matter experts and local stakeholders. This ensures that volunteer time is focused on solving real problems for real people.”
All the solutions are open source. It is a chance to be part of a global movement of tech for social good.

Why attend

What if your knowledge could collide with others to build solutions that solved real-world problems? This concept of using our intellect to affect change will take time, effort and multiple attempts, but if we build on each other’s efforts it is an honourable goal to set and meet.

Last night I attended a talk at Open Bar about “Giving Back and Getting Involved” by James Walker, open source advocate and lifer. James summarized the top reasons to get involved in Open Source projects:

  • get involved to learn
  • gain experience
  • to get hired
  • to hire
  • meet new friends and like-minds

These are exactly the reasons why RHOK is magic. Being connected to ideas and doers around the world. These people inspire in every way possible.

Toronto RHOK needs you

Lead by Melanie Gorka, RHOK Toronto will hack on local and international problems.

  • RHok Toronto seeks sponsors to assist food, tools, services, prizes and funds which help make the event a success. Sponsorship for the event provides for a pre-event reception, meals for participants during the weekend and prizes for the top 3 innovative solutions or ‘hacks’. If you and your organization can help, Contact Melanie Gorka (melanie.gorka AT gmail DOT com).
  • RHoK Toronto Idea Jam is confirmed for May 15th at Bento Miso from 7-10pm. Join Toronto’s Idea Jam to submit your ideas for local and international hacks. Come prepared to pitch your idea. Your hack must meet the RHOK criteria.
  • Register for the RHOK Global hackathon on June 1-3rd
  • Join the next volunteer meeting on May 17th. Contact Melanie Gorka (melanie.gorka AT gmail DOT com) for more details

Join an RHOK event in Canada

Register for Hamilton

Register for Montreal.


If you are in Vancouver, the event will be posted soon.

Host an event

If you want to host a RHOK event in another city, here is the application. Please also drop me a note so that I can join your fan club. If there is not a local event, you can still get involved virtually.

The RHoK community is amazing. I’ve done 5 hackathons so far. The good news is that Geeks without Bounds is now working with RHOK on sustainability for projects. By taking some of the best hacks/prototypes and incubating them, their goal is to have the best projects be activated, tested and used to affect change.

Global hacker friends

We’re looking for some guest hackers for Toronto. I’ve slept on your floor and ate at your tables. Or, we’ve just connected at the many online events. Toronto needs you to join and inspire our local community. Please contact me if you would like to have a place to stay, food, no sleep and be part of Toronto’s vibrant tech for social good community for one weekend.

Let’s do this!



Dispatch: Third Rock from the Sun

[Cross-posted on the International Space Apps Challenge blog]

Astronomers, Astrophysicists and Astronauts visited various SpaceApp locations. AND, a there is a #launchjon campaign.

“Get this bracelet to light up by trending Jon Spooner on twitter! Go on! It’s for the global #spaceapps challenge”

“Our astronomer is overly excited and wants to help out on any team that is working on Tour of the solar system too!” Dr. Syeda Kareema Ghouse joined the Miami team to discuss mobile + astronomy.

They also brained on Visualize the “All-too-Common Astronomy/Solar System Misconceptions”. What a seriously fun project to keep doing with people!

As for astronauts: Tokyo had @astro_ron recorded a SpaceApps Google Hangout held with San Francisco, Jakarta, Tokyo, and Melbourne.

Dr. Prasenjit Saha, professor of astrophysics at the University of Zürich shared his project in Lausanne. It is good to know that brainac Astrophysicists say:
“We observe these two firework thingys.” He is working on an open development citizen science project. (The talk starts 2 minutes into the ustream recording.)

Video streaming by Ustream

Nairobi and San Francisco are social butterfly hub cities. They held Google Chats to connect with other cities. Well done, Willow and Simeon. Global connections are true magic. Every global hackathon it gets easier to share between cities. While co-hacking can be hard, the human connection that we are all in this together across timezones is an amazing starting point. As Sara Farmer mentioned, the key is to have all the cities connected via Skype and Google docs so that we can coordinate with the global dispatch team.

Miami and Jakarta connecting. (Photo via Alison Hornery)

Global Tour

Tokyo Space Apps
(picture by Fumi from Tokyo)

SpaceApps highlight reel from some of the cities:

San Francisco: (picture courtesy of Elizabeth Sabet)

Canberra: (Picture courtesy Lyle Roberts)

Melbourne: (Picture via @auspaceapps)

Nairobi: (picture courtesy of ihub)

Jakarta (Picture by Ali Llewellyn)


Update from the UK: “Some worked all night and are Red Bulling their way back to consciousness!” #spaceapps

More Photos:

International Space Apps and #spaceapps.

‘Join the army,’ they said!
‘See the world,’ they said!
I’d rather be sailing the solar system.

Sometimes your globe is tiny and there is a hacker next door that you did not know was connected to your community. @mattmattmatt was on the hunt to get Horizon data to work all day yesterday. A few of the global team members connected him via a mash of IRC, skype, email and twitter. We connect with people on the topic and don’t always get into the gritty of where they may be located. Oddly enough, Matt Mihok is in Toronto. SpaceApps hackers unite! (the project)

Hack of a hack

[05:33] HeatherL: Juub – I like to call it it the hack of the hack
[05:33] HeatherL: the first hack is that you find out you can and should
[05:34] HeatherL: the second hack is that you learn how to collaborate outside institutions, corporations and, hopefully, your usual silos of knowledge
[05:34] HeatherL: the third hack is that you create something, do something
(early morning IRC chat with Juub)

Getting people involved in global hackathons is an evolution. I think that the individual is the first and most important hack. As we think about the Open Government Partnership, we need all citizens engaged. This means more teaching that we can and should. Here’s to that amazing exploration.

I leave you with ISS DUCK (via @ileddigital:


Posts in the series:


Dispatch: International Space Apps Challenge Part 2
Dispatches From International Space Apps Challenge Part 1/


Random Hacks of Kindness (Toronto)- Sponsor Help

We are busy working on Random Hacks of Kindness Toronto (RHoK) The event is seeking sponsorship to feed over 60 software developers, storytellers and project managers. We will be brainstorming on problem definitions for humanitarian aid. As well, our friends at Open Data Toronto will be working on local data solutions.

The Global RHoK event is December 4 -5 , 2010. There are already more than 500 people in 16 countries participating. It is going to be awesome.


The sponsorship will go directly to food and beverages for the two-day hackathon. We have been most fortunate to have a few local companies help us. Thanks to Tucows Inc., Left Button Solutions, Unspace, Idee Inc., University of Toronto , Planet Geek and TechSoup Canada for their support.

We have raised half the amount we need. There is only a week and 1/2 to go.

Sponsor Random Hacks of Kindness – Toronto.

Please share this link. Every dollar will help us create software solutions for humanitarian aid.


RHoK Toronto Team.


Random Hacks of Kindness – Toronto

Random Hacks of Kindness 2.0 (RHoK)

is in Toronto on December 4 – 5, 2010. This is the first Canadian RHoK event and the 3rd global event.


Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is a community of developers, geeks and tech-savvy do-gooders around the world, working to develop software solutions that respond to the challenges facing humanity today. RHoK is all about using technology to make the world a better place by building a community of innovation. RHoK brings software engineers together with disaster relief experts to identify critical global challenges, and develop software to respond to them. A RHoK Hackathon event brings together the best and the brightest hackers from around the world, who volunteer their time to solve real-world problems.

Calling all Brains

We will need Hackers, storytellers, software engineers, programmers, university students, marketers, web content creators, emergency planners,international policy and development students, teachers, librarians, videographers, event planners, organizers, project managers and YOU. Creating humanitarian software in a hackathon is a very special collective collaboration.

Participants can select from a number of problem definitions. (These will be posted in the new few weeks.)

Video screens and online tools like IRC, blogs, wikis and more tools will connect the world. You could be collaborating with any of these countries to solve problems and brainstorm. Yes, there is even some healthy competition in store.

Help us make this global event RHoK. RHoK 2.0 is happening in Toronto (Canada), Chicago (USA), Berlin (Germany), Bangalore(India), Mexico City(Mexico), New York(New York), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Aarhus (Denmark), Nairobi (Kenya) and Lusaka (Zambia).


Register for RHoK Toronto
Date: December 4, 2010: 9:00am – December 5, 2010 8pm. ALL NIGHT
Location: University of Toronto, 100 St. George Ave. Sid Smith, Rooms 2015,2016,2019,2020

Tshirts and stickers will be provided.


We are looking for food and beverage sponsors for the RHOK 2.0 event. We will need food and drinks for 30-50 volunteers for 6 meals.
Please contact Heather AT textontechs.com or @heatherleson

Thank you to University of Toronto, Idee Inc, TinEYE and HackTO for sponsoring the event.

More on RHOK 1.0

Last June I had the awesome honour to participate in RHoK 1.0 -Sydney, Australia. It was amazing to support and promote their efforts. Check out a RHoK 1.0 video from the event

© Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved